Different Take on Net Neutrality

Here is an interesting story on how some people are trying to position arguments against net neutrality.


The problem isn't that. It's that even though some companies can use bandwidth restrictions for some good things, most companies don't. Between letting companies continue to strangle and force-choke the bandwidth their customers are paying for so that TV+Internet providers can sell them TV services they don't need (or want!), I say that for the greater good, we must have Net Neutrality.

I don't mind putting MetroPCS on the sacrificial table, if my internet speed at home can run at advertised speeds I'm paying for. I'd rather have Net Neutrality here, because if you're using mobile internet most of the time, than you need to #MinistryOfStopIt and pony up to a real connection.

We need to get US Internet speed up to the same level as several under-developed (yet civilized) countries in the world - and the fact that I can say that while being factually correct, in the (theoretically and widely-accepted) richest and most developed country in the world (for some unfathomable reason I can't wrap my head around) is nothing short of depressing.

Unfortunately, a free and open democratic society depends on freedom of speech, and in our modern-day world, Internet access is pretty much a requirement for communication and thus freedom of speech. If communication means are being strangled, it's a force-choke on freedom of speech of individuals, and a big threat to a democratic society. Yes, for the protection of freedom of speech through internet bandwidth, I will gladly and gleefully put MetroPCS on the metaphorical sacrificial altar. It's worth it. Because the good outweighs the bad, and there's way too much bad that's doing way too much harm for any possible good that MetroPCS and the other exceptions are working on. The fact is, for the good of the people and their freedom of speech through a free (note: I'm not talking about price to access it, for those forum guys who nitpick way too much for anyone's good or sanity), uncensored, unlimited internet so that democracy, dialogue and debate can continue, so that businesses cam thrive and prosper, and to allow the US economy to continue to be a breeding ground for innovation and new businesses and markets. If we continue to let companies sell what they can't deliver (like ISPs selling bandwidth they don't have, or selling speeds they throttle because they don't like competition), the economy and market is going to suffer, and the damages are going to be more than any good MetroPCS or all other exceptions combined could bring about. (And if you disagree, bring me a list of other notable exceptions and I'll gladly give you back a list of really long list of really bad things that are happening in the US because of this, and I'll gladly show you why Google Fiber abiding by Net Neutrality can spring up economic growth and encourage businesses to flourish, and what the impact of fiber-to-the-home and gigabit internet that's afforable has on local businesses and real estate prices.)

Thanks for posting this article. It is definitely an interesting specific case and author has done his research here.

However, this is not some clear cut case against Net Neutrality as it is purported to be by the author. To just name a few of the issues that were not addressed in the article, one is that much of this argument here is based on the fact that MetroPCS were some how able to transmit Youtube traffic more cheaply than other data, and further confounding this is Youtube seemed to have helped make this so. I'm sure other video content providers would not have been happy with this. Another issue that is not mentioned is that MetroPCS is practicing price discrimination, here is that they are attempting to charge two different prices for what is essentially the same service: they want their lower end consumers to switch to LTE, but still want to charge higher end customers more for it. Which is in part why they devised this scheme, but as is known from basic economic theory this is not good for the consumer.

The bigger issue here not at all addressed in the article is that for most cases that are discussed with respect to net neutrality, even in mobile broadband, there is zero benefit to consumer (e.g. at&t attempting to charge more for data used on Facetime or other services).

I'm not sure if MetroPCS offers TV service so I doubt they would be engaged in throttling internet video and media to encourage people to buy their own. We should leverage our efforts against the bigger culprits here. 

There are bigger fish to fry here than MetroPCS :) and I hope we do.

I found the response from MetroPCS ( http://assets.fiercemarkets.com/public/mdano/metropcsresponse.pdf ) to the FP and the Consumers Union particularly intersting and it put some light on this subject for me.

Now coming back and reading the first few paragraphs of rsilverblood yet again gave me another layer of perspective. Thanks for posting

MetroPCS's reasonings behind giving Youtube traffic higher priority are well stated in the letter that is linked in the article in question here. Youtube traffic was given priority because the majority of American consumers favor youtube. In addition to this the prioritizing was done on Metro's slower network and not on their 4G network, this was done to bring youtube videos to people who were not on the 4G network because the maximum data transfer rate on the slow network is 153.6 Kilobits per second. Obviously without Youtube and Metro's mutual efforts to compress popular videos this would not have been possible. Metro stated multiple times in their response to these hecklers that they were contacted by youtube to make this improvement possible and that they were not contacted any other online video provider. Metro expressed that they would have been willing to work with other services if they insisted as Youtube had.

No problem.